Church Documents: November 2006 Archives

USCCB Documents

|

The United States' bishops have been meeting holding their annual meeting in Washington D.C. this week.

Here are the documents that have been issued so far:

I know many people criticize the USCCB (and frankly, much of that criticism is justified to an extent), but I was quite pleased with the second document listed above. It is a very brief and clear presentation of the Church's teaching on openness to life. Here's a snip that succinctly and persuasive argues against contraception.

Married love differs from any other love in the world. By its nature, the love of husband and wife is so complete, so ordered to a lifetime of communion with God and each other, that it is open to creating a new human being they will love and care for together. Part of God’s gift to husband and wife is this ability in and through their love to cooperate with God’s creative power. Therefore, the mutual gift of fertility is an integral part of the bonding power of marital intercourse. That power to create a new life with God is at the heart of what spouses share with each other.

To be sure, spouses who are not granted the gift of children can have a married life that is filled with love and meaning. As Pope John Paul II said to these couples in a 1982 homily, “You are no less loved by God; your love for each other is complete and fruitful when it is open to others, to the needs of the apostolate, to the needs of the poor, to the needs of orphans, to the needs of the world.”

When married couples deliberately act to suppress fertility, however, sexual intercourse is no longer fully marital intercourse. It is something less powerful and intimate, something more “casual.” Suppressing fertility by using contraception denies part of the inherent meaning of married sexuality and does harm to the couple’s unity. The total giving of oneself, body and soul, to one’s beloved is no time to say: “I give you everything I am—except. . . .” The Church’s teaching is not only about observing a rule, but about preserving that total, mutual gift of two persons in its integrity.

This may seem a hard saying. Certainly it is a teaching that many couples today, through no fault of their own, have not heard (or not heard in a way they could appreciate and understand). But as many couples who have turned away from contraception tell us, living this teaching can contribute to the honesty, openness, and intimacy of marriage and help make couples truly fulfilled.

The whole thing is quite good.

Bookmark and Share

Pages

Mama-Lu's Etsy Shop

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Church Documents category from November 2006.

Church Documents: June 2006 is the previous archive.

Church Documents: March 2007 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.